All Comments for The North Korean Policy Changes That Dare Not Speak Their Name

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Eric Koski from Rochester, NY :

Andrei Lankov was an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s, and has devoted his professional life to study of the country and its evolution based in part on personal contacts. He is the author of the Oxford University Press study The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia.

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Jan 17, 2017 09:43 AM

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Anonymous Reader :

Lankov correctly points out that market forces have been playing an increasingly important but officially unacknowledged role in North Korea for several years running, with markets springing up in many places. This trend has practically nothing to do with North Korea's prison camp system, which is very punitive and hardly productive at all compared with civilian enterprises.

Jan 14, 2017 01:19 AM

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buckaroo from USA :

How does Lankov know that things are actually changing? Does he often travel around the DPRK and talk to ordinary people? Has he visited the labor camps at least every six months to see if real changes are taking place or if the murderous policies established by Kim Il-sung are still in effect? And are his many visits accompanied by the usual minders, meaning that people will be hesitant to admit the truth to a Russian stranger?

Perhaps Lankov only observes what is going on in Pyongyang and extrapolates that to the rest of the country. Sure, we can believe that the core class -- the sycophants who live rather well in the capital -- have plenty of luxury goods, but what of the other two songbun classes, wavering and hostile, with the percentages being, respectively, 25%, 55%, and 20% as per HRNK? Lankov owes us some background for his beliefs.

Jan 09, 2017 04:39 PM

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